Celtic Christian reflections, prayers and blessings for the holy ordinary moments of life.
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Feast of St Macartan
Macartan was a close friend of St Patrick, being converted to Christianity after hearing Patrick preach at Dromahair.
Once baptised he became Patrick's bodyguard and was known as the 'strong man'. This included physically carrying Patrick over rivers and rough ground until the time came that Macartan claimed that he was 'too old' to still be a missionary and needed a church of his own to settle down in.
As a response St Patrick founded him a church and diocese at Clogher - far enough away but not too far - so that their friendship was able to continue.
The Diocese is named after the Golden Stone or Cloch-Or which may have been a sacred oracle stone of the Druids. The stone, originally covered in gold, can still be seen inside the Cathedral in Clogher village in Co Tyrone. It is said that the stone was given to Macartan by a pagan noble after being 'patiently loved' into the faith.
After over 50 years as Bishop, Macartan died peacefully in 506.
I can't imagine that there are many better gifts of the Spirit than the ability to 'patiently love' .